PES 2016 - Review

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2021-01-26 11:01:53
There are games that you unlock only with strength, power, giving everything when needed. There are other encounters that you can solve with patience, precision and fine play. PES 2015 belonged to the first category, this 2016 edition is clearly the daughter of the second. After all, the revolution, long awaited and dreamed of by Konami and Pro Evolution Soccer fans, has already taken place: exactly ten months ago the Japanese-London hybrid team gave life to the best "chapter" of the football series that has dominated in the past which seemed very remote and, incidentally, also signed the most successful simulation that could be found on the market. Changing a lot, without being ashamed to clearly imitate the competition in case it turns out to be the smartest choice (see the entry: "game modes"), but also proposing some aspects never before in-depth and satisfying in the same way ... and here the thought runs to artificial intelligence.

PES 2016, therefore, starts from premises diametrically opposite to those of its close relative over time. This year we don't need to overturn, but to refine. There is no need to re-elaborate from scratch, but only to further deepen the discussion. The foundations have already been laid and rather than relying on a power conclusion from outside the area (which, however, always remains among those preferred by the game and its physical model), it is evidently the case to let it be a touch under or a soft saber to break into the opponent's defense. All this to say that PES 2016 is, if desired, an update that may appear superfluous to less demanding players or to those less attentive, because in fact the ancient rule of "if it's not broken, don't change it" triumphs. So much so that, seen from a distance, the two games could even be confused with each other.

And to say that something that could be improved, although not exactly “broken”, PES 2015 had it, even and especially when it comes to presentation. Yet nothing, PES 2016 continues to move on the same tracks when it comes to menus and assorted management screens. Change some chromatic details and the game plan during and before the matches, the one that allows you to change formation, owners and give assorted instructions, has been slightly revised and streamlined ... but it is really a little stuff. Even the PES 2015 version of the main screens, divided by genre and with partially customizable “blocks” has not changed one iota.

Fortunately, something more interesting has happened where it matters most, on the playing field. Konami's press releases speak of an animation park tripled compared to the 2015 edition and even if it is difficult to believe in such a disruptive relationship, certainly progress has been made. Which is not exactly a trivial matter, especially bearing in mind how convincing and exciting the result obtained with PES 2015 was already. Having more animations available is not resolved only in a simple aesthetic question, on the contrary ... more animations give life to more possible game solutions, both in the offensive and defensive fields. To realize this with even greater clarity, it is enough to insert the PES 2015 disc again after spending a few days with this updated edition: what you find yourself in front of is a more rigid, plastered game with less dynamism.


The many new animations blend together to make the players more reactive and flexible, both when it comes to intercepting a pass, and when it comes to making it in depth. Both when there is a need to stop a ball thrown by an "allied" midfielder, and when there is a need to deflect one at the last second, stretching the leg in a slip and bagging with little show and a lot of effectiveness. All this is the new PES 2016 and just pick up the controller during the very first matches to find yourself moving more smoothly than ever between midfield and defense, sliding the ball with sensual precision ... enjoying every patient and wise touch of the central defenders who sort on the flanks or call the midfielders to action who then go on to build the action. Of course, as long as you do not overdo it with the search for good football, ending up badly losing control of the ball, perhaps seeing it shot without too many ceremonies at the edge of the pole (and at the bottom of the net) by the opponent attacker. Because with the artificial intelligence of PES we continue to not be able and having to joke.